The Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW) Minn-LInK project uses state administrative data from multiple agencies to answer questions about the impacts of policies, programs, and practice on the well being of children in Minnesota. Minn-LInK is intended to produce reports that have implications for practice, policy, or both, and build upon the work of other state agencies and university researchers. Findings of Minn-LInK studies are used to create training for child welfare professionals. The project is also a research support for faculty and students of the School of Social Work. State agencies that provide data work in partnership with the Center to discuss and address child welfare policy questions.
Click here for links to Minn-LInK Briefs and Publications
- PhD students for practicum projects and dissertations
- Faculty needing statistics for grant applications and research
- CASCW studies and curriculum development
- Community partners for program evaluation
Student and Faculty Users
Minn-LInK pursues answers to questions about child and family well-being by linking information across systems for the broadest possible perspectives.
Data and Variable Descriptions
Each state administrative data set has an accompanying data dictionary that summarizes the names of the variables and field descriptions from the originating child welfare or public program system. Whenever possible, information about who enters the data, and when data is collected is gathered to assist in the fullest understanding of the accuracy and quality of the data. Not all data fields from the public systems are available in Minn-LInK datasets. For a review of the variables contained in the project's state administrative datasets, contact the Minn-LInK Coordinator at 612-624-1250 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of January 2011, the following agencies had contributed data to the Minn-LInK project:
- Minnesota Department of Education—education data containing demographic variables, gifted/talented status, grade-level test scores, graduation rates, attendance, and reasons for leaving school for academic years 2001-2011. An academic year runs from September through Jun so academic year 2001 covers enrollment between September 2000 through June 2001
- Minnesota Department of Human Services—child protection maltreatment data from the Social Services Information System (SSIS) containing demographic variables, maltreatment data, investigation information, and placement information for the continuous time period of January 2000 through October 2012.
- Minnesota Department of Health—data available via request for and establishment of an agreement with the Department of Health.
Researcher Access to Data
Arrangements can be made with CASCW's Director of Research & Evaluation to gain access to data. After access is approved, the Minn-LInK coordinator will work with researchers to prepare study-specific datasets. Study-specific datasets must remain at CASCW and analysis must be completed on site due to the sensitive nature of the data. Researchers will be asked to sign a user agreement with CASCW that also specifies these requirements of use.
For more information please contact Kristine Piescher, Director of Research & Evaluation, at email@example.com or 612-625-8169.